Midnight Oil – Not The Band
I was never a fan of Midnight Oil, the band. Perhaps I had some kind of subconscious premonition of things to come but the ad on TV that had Garrett screaming the one line ad nausea turned me off their music. Yet some of their lyrics still have clout today although more and more I feel ‘irony’ is word one looks for when thinking of their music and their lead singer. But I digress. I meant to write bout burning the midnight oil and when writers write best.
Hemingway used to write in the mornings. He would do several hundred words regardless of what they might say when read one after the other, just to keep up the discipline and habit of writing. Every morning, regardless of the night before, he would go to his writing desk and write. About lunch time he would stop and his day’s work was done so it was off to the bar or the boat.
So many writer’s carry on a bout writer’s block. I agree with Stephen King and say ‘just write’. The more you write the less you will likely suffer such a problem. You can write every morning like Papa Hemingway or wait until the tribe are asleep and then go for it at midnight. I do both.
In the old days of clacking type writer keys I can imagine what a noisy nocturnal nuisance a writer in the house would be. Today we have keyboards that are far quieter. Funny thing is, as I write this I am listening to the noise my keyboard is making and it is not as whisper quiet as I thought. In fact it is quite clacky itself. Perhaps that is what comes from using a Microsoft keyboard with an iMac. My iMac keyboard is pretty well soundless but I prefer the feel of this keyboard and quite frankly the Mac mouse needs to be put down. I prefer one with a scroll wheel and properly defined left and right buttons. Fortunately fur filled track ball compartments are a thing of the past but the red light does attract moths and small children at times.
I like to work from 9am to 1pm, short lunch break then back into it until 4pm. Then I go for a walk with my Dad and the dog, Dong. We finish up watching ‘Eggheads’ on UK TV and Mum makes me an nice espresso coffee. I’m home before 6pm for my self defence class on Tuesdays and Thursdays or dinner on the other weeknights. The evenings I like to keep for the family and relaxation but sometimes, like tonight, I have lots to get through (end of month and end of financial year this week) so I stay clacking away until 2am.
So when do I write my best work? I really don’t know. I know it is either there or it isn’t. Sometimes it just must be written and it gushes out of my fingertips and other times I confess I spend a lot of time doing very little. I keep my weekends for the family nowadays, otherwise working from home there is no line of departure and it is all too easy to ignore your loved ones and work because it is not work but a labour of love afterall.
When do you write? Why then?